TEXT-S&P keeps LSE Group 'A-' L-T rating on watch neg

Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:46am EDT

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Oct 10 -


-- We continue to believe that the financial risk profile of London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG) will deteriorate if the group acquires a majority stake in multiproduct clearing services provider LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd. (LCH.Clearnet).

-- We now perceive additional downside risk to the long-term rating on LSEG, for example if it was to fund an equity contribution to LCH.Clearnet through debt.

-- We are maintaining our 'A-' long-term rating on LSEG on CreditWatch with negative implications, where it was placed on March 13, 2012, and affirming our 'A-2' short-term rating.

-- The CreditWatch placement reflects the possibility of us lowering our rating on LSEG by up to two notches on completion of the acquisition, which remains on target to happen before the end of 2012, although we may affirm it.

Rating Action

On Oct. 10, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services maintained its 'A-' long-term counterparty credit rating on London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG) on CreditWatch with negative implications, where it was originally placed on March 13, 2012. At the same time, we affirmed the 'A-2' short-term counterparty credit rating on LSEG.

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